According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes heel pain. The plantar fascia is a band of fibrous tissue that connects the heels to the base of the toes. In plantar fasciitis, this band of tissue becomes inflamed and causes pain.
Plantar fasciitis is so common because this is a part of the foot that goes through a lot of use every day. Too much pressure or too much weight can cause the fascia to tear or become inflamed, causing plantar fasciitis.
Sometimes plantar fasciitis can be caused by wearing the wrong shoes or insoles, by an increase in physical activity, or by the surfaces you walk or run on. Sometimes, the very structure of your foot is the cause.
The most common complaint about plantar fasciitis is heel pain, but you may also feel it in the mid-foot area. The pain is dull or sharp, burning or achy. People say the pain is worse in the morning, after sitting down for a long time, or after ending exercise or activity.
Best Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis
Here are a few exercises to help ease the pain of plantar fasciitis.
Ball or Bottle Massage
Stand up or sit in a chair with a frozen water bottle under your foot. Roll it forward and backward with your foot ten times for each foot, giving yourself a massage.
The roll should begin right under the ball of your foot and end at the beginning of your heel. During this massage, you should feel the bottom of your foot stretch a bit. The chill from the frozen bottle can help with the inflammation.
For this exercise, it’s essential that your whole foot stays on the floor and that only your toes do the work. Put a towel on the floor and put your foot on top. Spread your toes. Then bring the towel towards you using only your toes. Repeat this ten times for each foot.
This exercise is excellent for stretching out a painful plantar fascia. Sit down in a chair and put your foot down on the floor. Grab your big toe with your hand and stretch it back toward your ankle, gently but firmly.
You should feel a stretch, but it should not be painful. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat 2-4 times.
Hold onto a railing or a wall to do this exercise safely. Stand with the ball of your foot on the edge of a stair. Let your heel hang off the edge and slowly, with control, lower it down. You should feel your calf stretch. Then bring your heel back up and stand on the ball of your foot. Do two sets of ten raises per foot.